Tiny Hardcore Press publishes “books we love on an indeterminate schedule. The books themselves will be tiny and hardcore.” The press was founded by writer Roxane Gay, who answered questions for Danielle of Side B Magazine about running a small press, finding new voices in publishing, and the future of the press.
How did Tiny Hardcore Press begin?
I started Tiny Hardcore Press in a fit of delusion and hubris where I thought, surely, what the world needs now is another small press. I’ve since learned a lot.
You’re a very small team: how do you divide up the work involved in running a press?
We are a very small team and by we I mean me. I do… most everything. I have, recently, started outsourcing the design because I am only one woman. I’ve been working with Alban Fischer who is immensely talented and affordable. I also have an intern now, Patrick Trotti, who manages the blog and sends out books for review and is an enthusiastic self-starter. I cannot say enough about how much he brings to the table.
The books published by Tiny Hardcore aren’t reviewed in big outlets, but the reviews I’ve read describe the reader’s intense love for this kind of writing. How do you know when something is good enough to publish?
I know I’ve found the right book when I want to read it over and over, when I feel something, an ache in my chest. I respond to the books I publish, viscerally. When I don’t have that reaction, I know I haven’t found the right book.
Why do you think small presses are important for the publishing industry?
Small presses show publishing that sometimes, what matters most is heart.
Why are they important for writers?
Small presses are great for finding new voices and giving those writers a start. Small presses are flawed but our hearts are in the right place and we work really hard to give writers personal attention, a beautifully produced book and an unflagging champion in their work.
Some of the titles aren’t traditional fiction or poetry: So You Know It’s Me is a collection of Missed Connections; The Map of the System of Human Knowledge is described as occupying a space between “fiction and memoir, poetry and prose, realism and irrealism.” What space in publishing do these books fill?
These books tend to defy categorization and genre and that’s exciting to me that you cannot quite put your finger on where these books belong. These books fill a space for beautiful misfits.
What does the future hold for Tiny Hardcore Press?
I don’t know what the future holds. I do know I won’t be doing this forever because I simply don’t have the time but that while I am publishing books, I will do my best. The future also holds books by Alana Noel Voth, Sean Doyle, Ashley Farmer, and other fine writers.
What makes it worth it to you?
Finding such beautiful books and knowing I have a small part in putting them out into the world is what makes it all worth it and then some. It’s a privilege even at its most frustrating.
How do you imagine the publishing landscape in five to ten years?
I am hesitant to make bold predictions about what the landscape will look like in five to ten years but I don’t think it will look nearly as different as people think. E-books will certainly be a prominent part of the landscape but publishing doesn’t really change quickly. We’ve been reading books for what, hundreds of years?